First residents move into new Alabama veterans home

Pell City, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s fourth state home for veterans has opened in Pell City.

The first two residents moved Monday into the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home. The staff waved small American flags, displayed welcome home signs and cheered when the first residents arrived. The first residents are Vietnam War veterans William D. Gercken of Birmingham and Peter E. McConico of Vincent.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs offered those in the state veterans homes in Alexander City, Bay Minette and Huntsville the option of transferring to the Pell City facility.

The home has 254 private rooms and 75 employees.

The home is named for the late retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard. A native of Opelika, Howard received the Medal of Honor and other top decorations for heroism in Vietnam.

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